Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Cookie Factory

It's that time of year. Work is heating up as everyone is trying to get things done for the end of the year and social life is heating up as everyone is trying to squeeze in celebrations. And so of course adding 200 cookies to the mix is no problem. Of course I agree that having good food at the events is totally important and that clearly sleep is second behind cookies. But there's definintely a point at which you can't give up more sleep. For those of you who, like me have reached that point, the solution is to make cookie bars instead of cookies.

The difference between making 5 pans of cookies (approx 40 cookies per 9x13 pan) and making 13 pans of 15 individual cookies is enormous. I finished 2 pans of cookies in about 20 minutes plus 30-40 minutes of cooking time, which means less than an hour total for 40 cookies (and only about 10 active minutes per pan) or less than 2 hours and 20 minutes for 5 pans (2 hours and 20 minutes for 6 pans too - I just ran out of eggs, so only 2 pans of congo bars with 3 pans of the other). And (if you choose your cookies right, like I did) fabulously good! (Even with huge spreads - as we had at both events, mine were the cookies that got the accolades.)

These two recipes are ones that my family has used for years, neither of which is that unique, but both of which are the ones that people come back for seconds and thirds on. But the timesaving technique of bars over cookies will work with other recipes as well (and feel free to let me know if you have a good one!)

No Name Bars (We called them Snickerdoodles, which they aren’t, others call them Seven Layer Bars, but I don't like that name - they are the pan on the left)
1 9 x 13 pan

1 pack graham crackers
¼ lb butter (1 stick)
7 oz coconut
6 oz butterscotch chips
6 oz semisweet chips
1 can sweetened condensed milk

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Melt butter in pan.
  3. Crush graham crackers. Mix into butter. Pat to form a crust in the pan.
  4. Cover with coconut.
  5. Shake out the butterscotch chips. Then the semisweet chips.
  6. Cover with the sweetened condensed milk.
  7. Bake 30 minutes.
  8. Enjoy!

Congo Bars (much better than chocolate cookie bars, though they look the same, these are a signature dish for my family - they are in the pan on the right )
1 9 x 13 pan

1 box brown sugar
2/3 cup of vegetable oil
3 eggs
2½ teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
9 oz semisweet morsels

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Mix brown sugar and oil.
  3. Add eggs. Mix.
  4. Add baking powder and vanilla. Mix.
  5. Add flour. Mix.
  6. Add chips. Mix.
  7. Bake for 30-40 minutes.
  8. Enjoy!


Blogger MangoManDan said...

These two recipes have been favorites in my family too for more than forty years.
We made the 7-layer bars with all chocolate chips, and called them "Hello Dolly" cookies, because that is what they were called in a brochure from our local gas company. And because we felt like singing out after the first bite!

5:52 PM  

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